WSTA CARB Consultation
CARB’s Truck & Bus Amendments Status - September 25, 2014
Sean Edgars – Cleeanfleets.net
Many truckers that have not yet complied will find some tough sledding this winter as I predict that enforcement will be ramping up and only those with a true “economic hardship” will survive without a filter or new(er) truck in 2015. This article will recommend a few steps you can take if you intend to file for “economic hardship” once the process opens for filing by the end of this year.
Step 1 – Check out YouTube and the CARB Enforcement Reports
For web-savvy readers, I suggest that you search the internet by typing in “Diesel Crackdown” on YouTube to see a video clip of a late 2013 roadside inspections by CARB in Riverside County. Fines are real and high. Last month’s magazine provided notice of the CARB federal actions that will allow them to enforce the “Smartway” tractor-trailer aerodynamic requirements and the pattern on past regulations rolling out has been that CARB will issue an advisory indicating enforcement almost immediately. I expect this by the end of September.
CARB Enforcement Reports for the past 15 years are posted on the CARB website. The 2013 report at the following link indicates more than $3.4 million collected from roadside inspections and fleet audits affecting over 30,000 trucks.
Does every truck get stopped every year? No, but the penalties assessed can be very serious and the DMV and other state agencies can make a truckers life miserable. See the report at www.arb.ca.gov/enf/reports/2013_summary.pdf
Step 2 – Jump-starting the Economic Hardship filing
While we are still waiting on the final language, the indicators are that in order to claim the “Economic Hardship (EH)” you must do the following by the end of 2013:
a) Priced-out a DPF (this includes the assessment and data-logging by a recognized CARB installer); and
b) Priced-out a replacement truck that is “like for like”; and
c) Priced-out a one to three year truck lease for your truck type; and
d) Have your financial condition evaluated by a state-recognized small business lender
EH is not available to you in 2015 if you do not take the four actions above. CleanFleets is assisting members for a nominal fee to complete the filing process and at this stage; members should be collecting the following documents and data in preparation for the final language:
Annual financial data starting from January 1, 2012 that includes (a) through (f) below:
a) Annual gross revenue.
b) Net income.
d) Total net worth.
e) Number of years in business.
f) Any bankruptcy or existing tax liens in the year.
Having this information collected will make the EH filing process shorter once the filing process begins.
Step 3 – If you need a DPF, do this…
Just like the day you bought your truck, keeping it legally on the road has not come for free! Be prepared to:
- Find a CCTA affiliate member (see the back section of this magazine under “Diesel Emissions”)
- Pay for an opacity test (this is an indicator of how fast a filter might get loaded with particulate matter). Most DPF vendors will tell you that if the opacity test shows over 10 or 15% then engine repairs will be needed to keep a filter working reasonably good.
- Pay for data-logging (this is mandatory to determine whether the less expensive “passive” filter is even possible for your truck). You should get a copy of the data-log results and “histogram” of the test that you pay for. Some companies may offer this logging for “free” but in reality that cost is built into the filter that is purchased. My advice is to pay the $300 to $500 fee and demand a copy of the data.
Who you gonna call?
- Your CCTA Membership Directors Rudy Navarette and Betty Plowman do great work for members. For our Spanish speakers, call Rudy at 909-329-5673 as he is an excellent resource in both languages!
- CARB’s help line is 1-866-6DIESEL.
- CCTA’s endorsed CARB Consultant CleanFleets can quickly resolve your issues at a discounted fee by emailing Service@CleanFleets.net or calling (916) 520-6040 Ext 102.
CARB Truck & Bus Advisory Released - July 2014
Sean Edgar – CleenFleets.net
On June 27, California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff issued guidance on the April 2014 amendments to the Truck and Bus Regulation. Below is a summary of the major provisions and some helpful graphics (flowcharts) that CARB posted on June 30. The most important step for members to take is to update your CARB TRUCRS account on CARB’s website now with what actions that you have taken and make sure you also indicate to CARB which of the new options you plan to take.
Even if you have never reported to CARB before regardless of model year of engine, it would be wise for you to report to take advantage of all the legal extension available to you. Remember, DMV shares all vehicle registration information with CARB – you will never be off the grid!
CleanFleets is CCTA’s endorsed consultant for CARB issues and will provide insured and guaranteed reporting as required to comply with new time extensions or exemptions.
What We Know So Far:
The following summarizes the Advisory that is posted on the CARB website.
- Future Economic Hardship Extension: This will take several more months for CARB to determine the application process. In April, the CARB Board directed changes to be made so that the delay could only be applied for by owners that are truly financially unable to comply and have auditable proof that no financing options are available. The details are being revised and will be made available for public comment period before they can be finalized. The graphics below show how CARB intends
- Past “Good Faith Effort” (GFE) Truck Owners: Owners that registered with CARB in late 2013 or early 2014 that were approved for financing, ordered a 2008 or newer model year truck or ordered a PM filter retrofit must complete the action and must update their CARB registration by July 1, 2014. Owners that previously reported they were denied for a loan and still do not have the financial means to comply may be eligible for the future economic hardship extension. The owner will be able to obtain a temporary certificate that allows the existing registered trucks to operate legally.
- Low Mileage Trucks: Low use exemptions or “Work trucks” may retroactively claim this status by reporting no later than July 31, 2014. These thresholds are less than 5,000 or up to 20,000 miles total miles on the truck per calendar year.
- Failure to Comply: Vehicle owners that are noncompliant or fail to complete the good faith efforts to comply with the regulation by July 1, 2014, may be subject to penalties and possible Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) registration holds. Vehicles operating without current DMV registration are subject to enforcement actions by law enforcement which may include vehicle impoundment.
Here Are Your Options:
Every situation is unique and depends on the member’s current filing status with CARB. For example, the GFE filing process that was required in late 2013 and early 2014 allowed you to report on the status of loan approval or denial. That selection will be important to determining what path you choose going forward and CleanFleets will help you navigate this new process summarized in the graphics below that CARB just released. As you select what you believe is the best option, contact CleanFleets for support in reporting it promptly and accurately.
ENTERED INTO A PURCHASE AGREEMENT
APPROVED OR DENIED A LOAN
APPLIED FOR PROP 1B FUNDING
What CleanFleets is Doing:
- Providing insured and guaranteed services for CCTA members,
- Performing revised CARB registration for members for whom we have performed CARB registration in the past; and
- Performing new registration for CCTA members who can now opt into time extensions.
CleanFleets has registered over 5,000 trucks with CARB and can be reached at 916-520-6040 Ext-102 to obtain additional information. Have your CCTA membership number when you call to obtain discounted services.
What Truck Drivers Must Do at an Inspection Stop - April 2014
Sean Edgar – CleenFleets.net
Over the last month, my office has received numerous calls from truckers with questions about CARB enforcement practices. From on-highway inspections in SoCal to inspections on private property in Northern California material plants and job sites, many have seen an increased CARB presence.
This month’s column is dedicated to helping members understand what their legal obligations are. In short, I will review what you MUST DO and my view of what you SHOULD DO when responding to CARB inspections or audits including those inspection stops on private and public property.
Roadside Inspection Locations: “Where Ever Trucks Run!”
This is what state laws under the Ca Code of Regulations say. “Right of Entry. For the purpose of inspecting vehicles subject to this regulation and their records to determine compliance with this regulation, an agent or employee of ARB, upon presentation of proper credentials, has the right to enter any facility (with any necessary safety clearances) where vehicles are located or vehicle records are kept.” (See: “Truck and Bus Regulation” at 13CCR Section 2025 (v)).
Note: 1.) “Any facility” can mean dump sites, construction projects on public or private lands or even construction jobs or material plants. And 2.) CHP escorts are not required to be with CARB inspectors when they direct you to pull over and stop.
Roadside Inspections: What a Driver MUST DO
The listing below provides references to the truck driver’s legal obligations. A truck driver must:
1. Submit to a Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection
(see 13CCR Section 2181):
“(a) Driver of heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicle. The driver of a heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicle selected to undergo the inspection procedure shall do all of the following:
- Drive the vehicle to the inspection site upon direction of an officer.
- Show proof of driver’s license and vehicle registration to the inspector or officer upon request.
- Perform the test procedure upon request by an inspector.
- Open the vehicle door so that the inspector can observe the driver depress the accelerator pedal.
- Permit an emission control system inspection and open the hood of the vehicle upon the request of the inspector.
- As applicable, sign the Citation or Notice of Violation to acknowledge its receipt and sign the smoke test report to acknowledge performance of the test procedure.”
For web-savvy readers, search “Diesel Crackdown” on YouTube to see a video clip of late 2013 roadside inspections by CARB in Temecula in Riverside County
2. Provide Documents for Filters Installed
(see 13CCR Section s):
“(a) VDECS Documentation. For each engine requiring a VDECS to comply with the regulation, the owner shall keep the following documentation in the vehicle and provide it upon request to an agent or employee of the CARB;
- A statement signed by the installer at the time of installation of the VDECS affirming that the installation was performed by an installer authorized by the VDECS manufacturer;
- The name of the company installing the device;
- The date the device was installed;
- Description of VDECS installed;
- VDECS family name;
- Serial number of installed VDECS; and
- Verification level and year of verification of the installed VDECS.”
3. “Good Faith Effort” Documentation
“Vehicle owners must keep copies of purchase orders, receipts, contracts, or correspondence from dealers or financial institutions at their place of business and in the vehicle at a location known to the driver. Records that document good faith efforts must be kept for two years and may be subject to audit. Vehicle owners that made good faith efforts before January 1, 2014, and are still unable to meet the compliance requirements of the regulation should contact ARB at the number below before July 1, 2014, in order to discuss alternative compliance options and penalties.”
Roadside Inspection Failure To Comply: Vehicle Impound
(see vehicle code section 27159):
“Any uniformed member of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) may order a vehicle stored when it is located within the territorial limits in which the member may act if requested by a representative of the State Air Resources Board to remove the vehicle from service pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 44011.6 of the Health and Safety Code. All towing and storage fees for a vehicle removed under this section shall be paid by the owner.”
CleanFleets understands that this provision has been exercised on about 500 occasions over the past few years.
Roadside Inspections: What a Driver SHOULD DO
The listing below provides CleanFleets suggestions that a truck driver should do:
- Carry clear documents in a weatherproof pouch (the current CARB certificate, DPF installation invoices, the most recent Fact Sheet from the CCTA website showing your trucks compliance deadline);
- Keep maintenance records in the vehicle (the most recent opacity test, filter cleaning invoice and 90-day inspection)
- Be patient, polite and answer questions truthfully. Know that handing over current documents as suggested above can shorten an inspection greatly.
- Know that enforcement officers have very little ability to change the law as written today – your time is money and arguing at roadside cannot change the law!
Roadside Inspection Basics: “Attitude is Everything”
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to do training for more than 5,000 truckers impacted by CARB rules. At a recent session I was pressed to explain “exactly” how a roadside inspection takes place (for example: who says what, who can issue a ticket, how much the ticket could be for, do I need to stop for inspection or keep on going?).
I blurted out the first thoughts that came to my mind – the outcome is the direct result of the attitude of the driver and also that of the enforcement officer. A combative truck driver is probably going to be spending more time on the side of the road then one who can hand over proof of compliance and cooperate with any tests that are ordered.
Recordkeeping & Paperwork Audits by CARB
On a random basis or in responses to complaints or multiple citations, CARB may open an enforcement case on a truck owner. CARB has access to the databases of the DMV and CHP and routinely issues audit letters to truck owners. Below is the regulation language and what to expect if audited.
The regulation states, “Audit of Records: The vehicle owner must make records available to CARB at its request for audit to verify the accuracy of the records. In the event the records are not made available within 30 days of the request, the CARB may assess penalties for non-compliance. (see “Truck and Bus Regulation” at 13CCR Section 2025 (t))
Relating to PSIP/opacity testing, fleet owners must, “permit an Air Resources Board inspector to review the inspection records specified in section 2194 at owner/operator designated fleet locations by appointment.” (see 13CCR Section 2192).
Paperwork Audits: What a Truck Owner SHOULD DO
The listing below provides CleanFleets suggestions that a truck owner should do if audited by CARB:
- Provide clear copies of the documents in a timely manner and obtain proof of mailing.
- Keep EVERY PURCHASE AND MAINTENANCE RECORD for as long as you own the truck and be prepared to hand over any DPF documents (and make a Sales Disclosure) for any truck you sell.
Can the AQMD’s Inspect My Trucks and Fine Me Too?
Three levels of oversight.
There are three levels of government that implement clean air requirements. The USEPA is responsible for stationary sources (like factories, landfills and some mining operations). It also develops motor vehicle emissions standards (like the 2007 and 2010 diesel engine standards). CARB is the state agency under CalEPA that is also granted the authority to regulate motor vehicle emissions under a provision in the federal Clean Air Act (the federal law signed in the 1970’s recognized that California had several clean air laws in place prior to the federal law).
The 35 local air quality management districts (abbreviated as “AQMD” or “APCD”) primarily oversee stationary sources and have only narrow authority over mobile sources like trucks. The South Coast AQMD (SCAQMD) covers all of Los Angeles and Orange counties and smaller western parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
So Who Enforces What?
CARB enforces its statewide rules like the Truck and Bus Regulation, Port/Drayage Truck Regulation and the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program.
There are two exceptions in the Southland. First, the Port of Los Angeles Police Department has an agreement with CARB to enforce against truckers in their jurisdiction. Second, starting around 1999 SCAQMD passed rules affecting diesel transit buses, trash trucks, street sweepers and public agency operated trucks.
Those rules require the public agencies and their contractors to purchase natural gas vehicles when replacing trucks. SCAQMD inspectors may conduct inspections to ensure compliance with their local fleet purchasing requirements but they do not have an agreement (at this time) with CARB to write citations for trucks that may be in violation of CARB’s truck regulations.
CleanFleets highly recommends that all CCTA members keep their CARB TRUCRS filing for the current year in each vehicle and drivers are trained to hand it over at inspection stops.
Who You Gonna Call?
CARB’s help line is 1-866-6DIESEL. Also a new and improved CARB website can be found at the following link: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truckstop/tb/truckbus.htm
CCTA’s endorsed CARB Consultant CleanFleets can quickly resolve CCTA member’s issues at a discounted fee Email:
call 916/520-6040 Ext 102.
Implementing CARB’s Truck Rule in 2014 - January 2014
Sean Edgar – CleenFleets.net
By the time you read this, the December 31, 2013 deadline for many truck owners to have taken major steps to comply with CARB regulations will be behind you. Over the past few months I’ve dedicated my work to helping members/affiliates/industry evaluate DPF filters or do what’s needed to be able to claim a “good faith effort” to comply with the regulations.
This article is focused on mapping out your 2014 compliance options because I’m predicting that enforcement will be strong against those that ignored the real enforcement liabilities that you may now have. For web-savvy readers, I suggest that you search the internet by typing in “Diesel Crackdown” on YouTube to see a video clip of late 2013 roadside inspections by CARB in Riverside County. Fines are real and high.
Step 1 – Reporting what you did in 2013
All fleets that took action in 2013 should report that action no later than January 31, 2014 to the CARB TRUCRS system. You want to make sure you get credit for your actions, especially if you have remaining trucks needing action. Furthermore, to take advantage of any of the possible relief valves described below, you must report all trucks in your fleet by the deadline. If you’re off by one truck, even a service truck, they will deny you credit where credit is due.
In order to claim the “Good Faith Effort (GFE)” you must report to CARB and have documentation that you did one of these four actions by the end of 2013:
a) Ordered a DPF; or
b) Ordered a replacement truck; or
c) Applied for grant; or d) Applied for loan. Reporting to CARB is required in January 2014.
CleanFleets can assist you in securing up to six months of additional time (to July 1, 2014) to operate the truck only if you took one of the four actions noted above.
The DPF, replacement truck, loan/grant decision would be in place by that date. GFE is not available to you in 2014 if you did do any of the four actions.
Step 2 – Know what relief is available in 2014
The short story here is that there has been no major overhaul or change of the Truck Rule but there are some nice tweaks that may benefit construction trucking. Those tweaks are summarized below.
- Annual mileage limit: Any diesel trucks >26,000 lbs. GVWR may be exempted from the DPF requirement if they are CARB-registered and regularly reporting their California miles. The annual mileage limit is expected go as high as 5,000 miles per year starting January 1, 2014. This “low miles exempt” limit is expected to be available through 2020. Bulletproof mileage records are recommended to defend an audit. So this means that for the minor expense of reporting and mileage tracking (we recommend hubodometers), one or more trucks can be removed from your fleet “baseline” when calculating compliance for low mileage construction trucks (LMCT) or any diesel truck subject to the regulation. If you need help to implement this, CleanFleets is a phone call away.
- LMCT “opt-in” in 2014: The opt-in period will be reopened for vehicles to newly register for the existing low mileage construction truck extension. This is only open to construction trucks that can show they have been under the 15,000 to 20,000 mile limit for their truck type since January 1, 2012.
Step 3 – If you need a DPF, do this…
Just like the day you bought your truck, keeping it legally on the road has not come for free! Look at last month’s magazine and be prepared to:
- Find a CCTA affiliate member (see the back section of this magazine under “Diesel Emissions”, Pay for an opacity test (this is an indicator of how fast a filter might get loaded with particulate matter). Most DPF vendors will tell you that if the opacity test shows over 10 or 15% then engine repairs will be needed to keep a filter working reasonably good.
- Pay for data logging (this is mandatory to determine whether the less expensive “passive” filter is even possible for your truck). You should get a copy of the data-log results and “histogram” of the test that you pay for. Some companies may offer this logging for free.
- You may be asked to make a cash deposit for the filter. Because of the many products, sizes and cost many DPF vendors may ask for a deposit/down payment to reduce the likelihood of getting stuck with really expensive filters that a customer decides he/she does not want. Shop around because the deposit or down payment is not a CARB requirement (just like a down payment on a truck is not a CARB or DMV requirement).
- If you are out of compliance right now, getting into compliance as soon as possible lessens the possible financial penalties when you get caught.
- Registration & Documentation: Only operators who register can get either form of relief and all motor carriers or brokers can only dispatch vehicles under the “annual mileage limit” or GFE if documents are obtained in January 2014. CleanFleets is a fee-based CARB registration service that has registered thousands of construction trucks with CARB.
Who you gonna call?
CARB’s help line is 1-866-6DIESEL.
Also a new and improved CARB website at the following link: www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truckstop/tb/truckbus.htm
CCTA’s Endorsed CARB Consultant Clean Fleets can quickly resolve your issues at a discounted fee by emailing or calling.